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New Self-Ordering Kiosk System at Student Activities Center increases production, accommodates special dietary needs and provides more variety

self ordering kiosks

Stony Brook, NY, September 16, 2014 – Campus Dining Services now offers a new amenity that has increased the speed of service for sandwiches and wraps production at the Student Activities Center (SAC). The new self-ordering kiosk system allows customers to order items from the Wrap It Up station, the Ignite grill, and the Picantes burrito bar through kiosks located in Traditions Lounge and the SAC lobby.

The SAC kiosk program is part of an ongoing initiative to better serve a large number of customers who arrive at the SAC Food Court in the short period of time at the change of classes, especially during the lunch meal period. The kiosk technology has allowed the introduction of three additional sandwich preparation stations and a new burrito preparation station in the SAC Food Court.

“The SAC Wrap It Up Station is now producing 770 sandwiches and wraps per day, a significant increase from 520 sandwiches made per day last year,” according to Joe Rudolph, Vice President of Lackmann Culinary services, “In addition, the new Picantes burrito bar is now producing 260 burritos per day.”

The Student Activities Center is the first location on campus to be fitted with the system, per an analysis of line lengths and wait times at dining locations across campus. Customers can place their order via the kiosk which prints out a receipt with an order number. Customers are then free to relax, study, chat with friends, or pick out beverages and additional snacks to go with their meal while awaiting the completion of their order. Monitors placed near the kiosks display progress of all recently-placed orders, and highlight the order number in red when it is completed.

Campus Dining is monitoring the waste produced by customers who do not pick up their orders from Wrap It Up. The first week that the kiosk service was offered, 13% of the sandwiches and wraps were not picked up, most likely because customers using the new kiosks were waiting longer than expected for their orders to be ready. Campus Dining is working on improving the efficiency of production, and the number of sandwiches not picked up was reduced to 2% by the second week of classes.

To further address the speed of service, Campus Dining plans to pilot a program to offer the three most popular sandwiches as “specialty sandwiches,” which can be ordered through the kiosks. These specialty sandwiches can be partially pre-made so when a customer orders one at a kiosk, their order will be expedited. Such features are made possible by a state-of-the-art commissary in H Quad that supplies ample, fresh food products.

One of the most cutting-edge functions of the kiosk system is the ability to select special dietary needs while ordering. A customer may select, for example, to view only gluten-free or vegetarian items for their order. The kiosk will then indicate the preparation requirements to the dining staff. Students with special dietary needs can also contact the Campus Dining Dietitian to review the best menu options for their special diet.

Any customer concerns may be submitted via the Chattback QR text message system, which Campus Dining staff responds to and is an important tool in enabling managers to mediate customer concerns. For information about texting dining staff, go to  stonybrook.edu/campusdining/feedback/contactUs.html

For more information, visit  stonybrook.edu/dining.

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